U.K. Defense Lays Out Weapons Budget for the Next Decade

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On Thursday, the U.K. Ministry of Defense published details on its planned military equipment purchases over the next decade, for the first time describing in some detail how it plans to allocate 160 British pounds (approximately $251.5 billion) in spending among the British Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force.

Among other, smaller projects, the ministry described specific spending goals for approximately three-quarters of the planned spending, including spending:

  • $17.9 billion on assorted munitions -- missiles, torpedoes, and precision guided bombs.
  • $56.3 billion on submarines, including the purchase of seven Astute-class attack submarines, and spending to develop a replacement for the Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarine.
  • $27.4 billion on the construction of surface ships such as two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, six Type-45 Daring-class destroyers, and also funds to be spent developing the Type 26 frigate, also known as the Global Combat Ship.
  • $29.1 billion for fighter jets, including the Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) F-35 Lightning II, Eurofighter Typhoon, and various unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • $21.8 billion for aerial refueling, passenger, and heavy lift aircraft such as the Voyager and A400M.
  • $19 billion for helicopters, including Apaches and Chinooks from Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) , Aerospatiale's Puma, and the AgustaWestland Wildcat.
  • $19.3 billion on armored vehicles, including the Warrior light tank and the General Dynamics (NYSE: GD  ) -built Scout armored reconnaissance vehicle.

The ministry also says it is specifically reserving 8 billion pounds -- $12.6 billion -- to fund priorities not yet anticipated, and is forming a separate fund of approximately $7.6 billion to cover cost overruns on existing and planned projects.

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